Dirt-bike rider Mike Mason is pretty much a badass. His Twitter profile includes a photo of his name tattooed under a woman's breast, but we're referring to his 2012 X Games gold medal and his spot on the Nuclear Cowboyz tour: the futuristic freestyle motocross extravaganza of pyro, lasers and female dancers (the Nuclear Cowgirlz) set to a soundtrack of heavy metal and dubstep. The Pitch caught up with the 31-year-old Las Vegas resident to talk about the show, which runs at 2 p.m. (and Saturday night at 7:30) at the Sprint Center (1407 Grand, 816-949-7000). Tickets cost $34–$75 ($10 children's tickets are available in limited areas). Buy them at sprintcenter.com.
The Pitch: How does the training differ between preparing for the X Games and your role as a Nuclear Cowboy?
Mason: Both are pretty similar. With X Games, you need the seat time on your bike to feel good on all your hardest tricks. With Nuclear Cowboyz, we do a lot of technical stuff like three-wide flips, so you want to make sure you're comfortable and confident.
This is your fourth year in the show. Have you always been one of the Soldiers of Havoc? Are they the good guys?
All four years I have been on the tour, I've been one of the Soldiers of Havoc. Yes, they are deemed as the "good guys." We try to shut the Metal Mulisha down and make them realize they aren't as tough as they think they are.
There's obviously a difference between the motocross of yesteryear and today. The X Games and Nuclear Cowboyz are pretty extreme. Where does the sport go from here?
I think the sport is heading towards tours like Nuclear Cowboyz. The X Games is cool, but I feel like it has ran its course from a spectator's standpoint. When you come to a Nuclear Cowboyz show, it's awesome! You have so many bikes jumping at any given time, the pyro, the music, the lasers and riders flipping while on fire; it's all more visually pleasing to the fans in the stands.